Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 201–207 | Cite as

Neurologic manifestations of elderly patients with cancer

  • Bernardo Cacho-DíazEmail author
  • Nydia A. Lorenzana-Mendoza
  • Gervith Reyes-Soto
  • José A. Ávila-Funes
  • Ana P. Navarrete-Reyes



The incidence of cancer is an age-related phenomenon; therefore, the interest on clinical manifestations, diagnostic approach and treatment strategies for older patients diagnosed with cancer has increased lately. Neurologic symptoms are one of the main reasons for consultation and a common cause of decreased quality of life among cancer patients.


To identify the neurologic manifestations of patients ≥ 65 years of age diagnosed with cancer and compare them to those presented by a younger population.


Cross-sectional study of cancer patients referred to neuro-oncologic consultation at a Cancer Center. Sociodemographic, health and oncologic characteristics were obtained through clinical interviews. Clinical symptoms and final diagnoses were also recorded. Bivariate logistic regression analyses were carried out.


More than 17,000 neuro-oncologic consultations in 3015 patients were given, 27% (n = 811) of them were ≥ 65 years of age. Most frequent primary neoplasms in elderly patients were: breast cancer, hematologic neoplasms, gynecological, urologic, skin and head and neck cancers. Elderly patients had an increased risk of having the following diagnoses: abnormal movements, stroke, peripheral vertigo, dementia, degenerative spine disorder, and delirium.


Elderly patients are considered a vulnerable population. The present study found that the main neoplasms associated with neurological manifestations are similar to the reported previously. We described the main symptoms that led to a neuro-oncological assessment. Moreover, we enlisted the final diagnoses made on elderly patients and compared them with others reports. To the best of our knowledge, this study provides valuable information, since there is scarce evidence in the literature about this topic.


Identifying the frequency and correlation of neurologic manifestations in older cancer patients will allow for the implementation of timely multidisciplinary care in an attempt to improve these patients’ health-related quality of life.


Elderly Cancer Neuro-oncology Neoplasms Quality of life 


Author contributions

BC-D: study concepts, study design, data acquisition, quality control of data and algorithms. NAL-M, GR-S: data analysis and interpretation, statistical analysis, manuscript preparation. JAÁ-F, APN-R: manuscript editing and manuscript review.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Institutional ethics and scientific committee approved this research.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neuroscience UnitInstituto Nacional de Cancerología, Ciudad de MéxicoMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Geriatric UnitInstituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador ZubiránCiudad de MéxicoMexico

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